International Congress, Geneva, Switzerland, 1922
Foundation of the Medical Women's International Association
In 1919, the first international congress of women doctors was held in New York from 15 September to 26 October. The American Women’s Hospitals Service Committee (a committee of the American Medical Women’s Association) took this opportunity and organized a dinner in honour of distinguished medical women from different countries who had just returned from medical relief work in France. 140 guests from 16 nations attended the festivities. Some woman doctors sensed the opportunity of forming an international association of medical women. Their suggestion was enthusiastically welcomed by the participants of the dinner.
Within a few days a Committee of Twelve was chosen by ballot and empowered to organize the Medical Women’s International Association and to nominate Executive Officers. The Committee met on October 25, 1919 and an Executive Committee was elected. The first MWIA President was Dr. Esther P. Lovejoy, U.S.A. Three Vice-Presidents, a treasurer, a recording secretary, and a corresponding secretary were also elected. A provisional constitution was adopted and provisional aims and objectives were laid down: exchange ideas and unite efforts for the benefit of mankind. In 1919, woman doctors from 16 nations became members of MWIA.
In 1922, MWIA held its first international congress. Since then, congresses are organized regularly on topics of immediate interest.